The evolution of motorcycle ownership is a crucial issue for road safety, as motorcyclists are highly vulnerable road users. Analyzing a panel of 153 countries for the period 1963-2010, we document a motorcycle Kuznets curve which sees motorcycle dependence increase and then decrease as economies develop. Upswings in motorcycle ownership are particularly pronounced in densely populated countries. We also present macro-level evidence on the additional road fatalities associated with motorcycles. Our results indicate that many low-income countries face the prospect of an increasing number of motorcycle-related deaths over coming years unless adequate safety initiatives are implemented.